talking points

Opiates

In 2014, the number of people seeking opiate treatment since 2006 had increased more than 200% in Stark County. Southern Stark has shown as much as a 583% increase in people seeking help.

start a Conversation

In the face of the nationwide opiate epidemic, families can feel powerless. Explore local resources and learn how your family can join the fight against opiate addiction. Remember, proper prevention starts with an honest conversation. Talk to your loved ones about opiates today.

Elementary

Kids can get poisoned by eating, drinking, touching or smelling something that can make you sick or hurt you. Some things, like medicine, can make you sick if you take the wrong kind or if you take too much. Always ask a trusted grown-up before you take any medicine.

Remember: If you don’t know what something is, never put it in your mouth. Always ask a trusted grown-up first.

Bottom line: Never take medicine unless a trusted grown-up gives it to you.

Middle School

It’s hard to watch friends make bad choices. It’s also hard to get involved and start a conversation with them about their behavior. If you know someone who might have a problem with prescription drug abuse, talk to a trusted adult. You can begin the conversation and get them help.

Most everyone at some point in their lives feels stressed and goes through difficult times. Some people believe they can manage their stress and feel better by taking prescription drugs. The reality is that drugs don’t fix the problems that are causing the stress in the first place.

Even if it feels weird or awkward, talk to your parents. They love you and want to be there for you. Don’t be afraid to start a conversation with them or ask questions – no matter what you’ve already done. Start the conversation today, and let them know that you need their support without their judgment. Together with your parents, you can work through the problem.

High School

Every 19 minutes another American dies from an unintentional drug overdose.

Prescription drug abuse is the second leading cause of accidental death in the United States.

27% of Ohio High School students report using prescription drugs illegally.

40% of teens consider the abuse of prescription drugs to be much safer than street drugs.

10% of teens say using prescription drugs to get high is an important part of fitting in.

Addiction can occur just as easily with Rx drugs as it does with street drugs.

Only use prescription (Rx) or over-the-counter (OTC) medications as directed by your medical professional.

Never share your medications.

Dismiss the pressure! If it seems that “everyone else” is abusing Rx and OTC drugs, they’re not.

In terms of abuse, prescription drugs are not safe alternatives to street drugs.

Possessing a Rx drug without a prescription is illegal and a felony offense (punishable by jail time).

Stay smart and speak up. Remember that the effects of drugs and alcohol last for hours. Even if your friends haven’t had a drink in a while, it could still be dangerous for them to drive. If you are in a healthy state of mind and have your driver’s license with you, ask for the keys and get the group home safely.

Find another ride. Try to find sober friends to give you a lift.

Call someone to pick you up. Okay, so you might not want to call Mom or Dad to get you from a party, but chances are they’ll be happier that you called them rather than put yourself in a dangerous situation. You could also call another family member or trusted adult.

Crash at the host’s house. If possible, wait it out until morning and stay put. Just make sure to let someone know where you are and that you are safe.

Young Adults

Prescription drug abuse is when someone takes a prescription drug that was prescribed for someone else or in a manner or dosage other than what was prescribed. Abuse can include taking a friend’s or relative’s prescription to get high, to treat pain or because you think it will help with studying.

Get a Naloxone overdose kit. Naloxone (also known as Narcan®) is a medication that can reverse an overdose caused by an opioid drug (heroin or other prescription pain medications). When administered during an overdose, Naloxone blocks the effects of opioids on the brain and quickly restores breathing. Naloxone kits are distributed free of charge at area providers. If you know a loved one struggling with opiate addiction, please get an overdose kit. Learn more at StarkMHAR.org/OverdoseKit »

Adults & Seniors

Be a responsible consumer. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about why you might need the pain medication prescribed. Use the prescription exactly as directed.

Don’t share your pills with others and above all, get rid of your medication properly. Do not throw them out in the trash or flush them. Take advantage of free, anonymous drug collection boxes throughout Stark County. Find a drop box near you at StarkMHAR.org/DrugCollection »

Get a Naloxone overdose kit. Naloxone (also known as Narcan®) is a medication that can reverse an overdose caused by an opioid drug (heroin or prescription pain medications). When administered during an overdose, Naloxone blocks the effects of opioids on the brain and quickly restores breathing. Naloxone kits are distributed free of charge at area providers. If you know a loved one struggling with opiate addiction, please get an overdose kit. Learn more at StarkMHAR.org/OverdoseKit »

Learn more about treatment and prevention resources available to families as well as medical professionals.

resources for medical professionals and families